Kentucky Public Radio

Reports from public radio stations in Kentucky.  

Kentucky Public Radio reporter Josh James reports that lawmakers in Frankfort are headed home now that the week long special session has concluded. The two bills up for consideration passed, providing funding for the state’s transportation department and delivering a modified piece of legislation intended to crack down on pill mills. 

River Pilot Michael Collins says he tried to steer the Delta Mariner through an alternate span of the western Kentucky Eggners Ferry Bridge with confidence he would clear the road deck prior to the accident. The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board have conducted a hearing this week, investigating the January crash that collapsed a portion of the bridge.

Updated at 4:06pm CT on Monday, April 16, 2012:

Navigation lights are the focus of the first day of Coast Guard and National Transportation and Safety Board hearings on the crash that collapsed a portion of the Eggners Ferry Bridge. A cargo ship operated by Foss Maritime collided with the bridge that connects Aurora to Land Between the Lakes on January 26th.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is disappointed a bill to crack down on prescription drug abuse died during the final night of the regular session. The initial proposal sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo required doctors to use KASPER, which is the state's prescription monitoring effort. It also required that pain management clinics be owned by physicians licensed in Kentucky.

Last night’s championship basketball may have ended late, but that didn’t stop Kentucky supporters from getting up early to get tickets for this afternoon’s Big Blue celebration. Hundreds of fans lined up outside Rupp Arena for the free tickets, including Richie Donworth.

“My wife is an insane UK fan so I’m surprising her with these for later," said Donworth.

Donworth is a native of Ireland and has lived in Lexington for about 10 years. He says winning the title means a lot for the UK program.

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth says it’s time to end all federal subsidies to oil companies.  The Louisville Democrat has introduced legislation to return the savings to consumers. 

Monday is the last day of winter, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at today’s forecast.  This winter ranks as one of the top 10 lowest for snowfall in Kentucky.

LRC

Two year budgets for all three branches of state government have now passed one chamber of the Kentucky General Assembly. The House spent more than an hour debating the details of the executive, legislative and judicial budgets before easily passing all three. They also passed a bill creating a tax amnesty program that Governor Steve Beshear requested.

Time Warner Cable has completed its purchase of Insight Communications, and changes to branding and service will begin over the next few months.  Time Warner paid $3 billion for Insight and will absorb more than three quarters of a million Insight customers in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.  Time Warner will also take over Insight's operations. That means some jobs will be redundant and those positions will be lost.  Time Warner spokeswoman Mary Jo Green says it's too soon to tell how many employees will be let go.

The Indiana Senate is expected to take up a proposed statewide smoking ban this week. For the first time in six years, a House-passed smoking ban has advanced past the Senate committee level.

The Public Policy Committee voted 8-2 last week for the measure after hearing some four hours of public testimony.

Indianapolis-area tavern owner Wanda Goodpastor told the panel a ban would harm her business, as 80-percent of her customers are smokers.

In a statement released today the US Postal Service says it will close eight mail processing centers in Kentucky, including locations in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, London, and Somerset. The processing work currently done at those centers will be processed at facilities in other cities in the future.

A Christian County lawmaker wants to create a statewide program that would encourage pre-schoolers to develop a love of books. Hopkinsville Representative John Tilley’s bill has cleared the House Education Committee, and is something he calls “Books for Brain”.

Catholic bishops have issued a stern warning about the potential consequences if Kentucky lawmakers approve a proposal to legalize casinos. Catholic Conference of Kentucky executive director Patrick Delahanty distributed a letter to state senators today detailing the concerns of the state's four Bishops who represent some 400,000 parishioners in the state.

A freshman lawmaker from Louisville has filed a bill in the Kentucky General Assembly that limits how long members can serve.  Legislation by State Representative Mike Nemes limits House and Senate lawmakers to serving no more that three consecutive terms.

Surgeons at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital have performed another hand transplant. Fifty-six year old Ronald Thurman of Marion, Indiana became the eighth recipient of a hand transplant at Jewish in a 15-and-a-half hour operation that ended early Thursday morning.

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